Daily Archives: November 14, 2006

Surgeons can sure be annyoying…

…like when they hurry me to get a patient into the room. One would think that it wouldn’t be too hard to figure out that if some patients’ surgeries take longer than others, then the preoperative assessment for some patients will take longer than others, especially those with congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, multiple past surgeries, etc. And it should also be common sense that an add-on patient (a patient I find out about immediately before the surgery) will take longer to evaluate than one whom I’ve known about and have read about the night before.

Any good suggestions for responses to when surgeons complain about “turnover time” given the above? Maybe I should just point blank ask them, “Are you complaining that I took too long to evaluate this patient?”

Even worse is interruptions. This has got to stop. At least three times this last week, I was interrupted by surgery residents or attendings as I’m visiting with a patient. It seems the height of rudeness to break in and start speaking while a physician is evaluating a patient. I need to have a good line ready; maybe something as simple as, “Excuse me, you just interrupted me. Could you please wait for me to finish?”

The nurse in the recovery room, however, takes the cake. A patient for whom I was to provide monitored anesthesia care was tearful even as the I.V. was being put in by another nurse! As high-strung as she was, I tried to be reassuring. At the end of my preoperative assessment, she asked me, “Have you done this before?” I smiled and said, “Many, many times.”

As she was waking up from the sedation after the procedure, this patient kept saying in a cute groggy manner, “Thank you all so much for taking care of me! Thank you!” Then she looked at me and said she hoped I hadn’t been insulted. I asked her what for. She explained she felt bad for asking about my experience.

Before I could answer that if I were a patient I would certainly be interested in my anesthesiologist’s credentials, the recovery room nurse broke in, “It doesn’t matter. He just does anesthesia.”

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